A climate-action organization says it has crunched the numbers to estimate how much it would cost the U.S. to protect itself from “moderate” sea-level rise by 2040.

Because we have a small coastline – about 18 miles, depending on how fractal you want to get – we have a relatively low cost. “Relatively” is the key word: The model says we’ll need to cough up $1.03 billion to create 122 miles of seawall to protect roads, buildings, etc. That’s less than virtually any other coastal state but still is one-sixth of the annual state budget.

Sea-level rise has long been a poster child for obvious effects from climate change because you can’t blame it on anything else. The alarmingly faster-than-expected melting of the Greenland ice cap – stuff we thought would happen in five decades is happening now – is making it more important to figure out how to deal with all this extra seawater.

The report, from a group called the Center for Climate Integrity – is here.

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